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Gazans turn to their rooftops for sustenance

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For Muhyeddin al-Kahlout, the benefits of his rooftop farm are wide-reaching. Mohamed Hajjar

In the Shujaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, Ahmad al-Sharqawi sells vegetables grown on the roof of his house. Their origin, he has found, has become a selling point.

By Sondos Walid
The Electronic Intifada Gaza Strip
16 August 2017

Excerpt:

Dr. Ahmad Saleh, an agricultural consultant and former professor in the Faculty for Agricultural Engineering at Al-Azhar University, is working to facilitate organic rooftop farming. To this end, he has established his own rooftop farm in the Tawam neighborhood of Gaza City.

For Saleh, rooftop farming has another potential advantage other than making the most of scarce space. He used parts from old cars, plastic boxes and bottles to create colorful containers for the 60-square-meter space on his roof. The area has been divided into two sections: one is for ornamental plants, including cacti and flowers, creating a pleasant space for socializing and a hub for family, friends and neighbors.

The other section is for produce. Saleh grows parsley, celery, sage, thyme, tomatoes, chilies, onions, eggplants, radishes, sweet peppers, seasonal lemons and beans.

“There are many useful benefits with this project,” he said, as he showed this reporter around his rooftop garden. “First, the produce is free from harmful chemicals, avoiding any harmful effects of chemical fertilizers. Second, the food tastes far better than what is found in the markets.”

Read the complete article here.